Toby Flood insists Newcastle Falcons will stick to their attacking guns this season despite knowing they have lost their tag as the Gallagher Premiership's surprise package.
Newcastle enjoyed their best league finish in 20 years last season, ending the regular season at fourth in the table and also reaching the semi-finals in both cup competitions.
Their success has brought with it an increased level of scrutiny from opposition sides, and as they embark on Sunday's season opener at home to champions Saracens their experienced stand-off says they will not abandon the principles which have seen them rise up the rankings.
“The reality is that all good teams have to go through that process of knowing they’re being heavily analysed going into games, and it’s because you pose a threat," said Flood, in a wide-ranging interview which can be read in Sunday's official match programme.
"It’s a burden of responsibility that we now carry this season, but if I’m honest it doesn’t massively change what we do.
“We just have to make sure we’re incredibly precise and ruthless about nailing the things we’re good at, and do those things better than we’ve been doing them previously.
"Obviously there’ll be tweaks to your game from week to week, but we’ve got the right systems in place here and it would be counter-productive to totally change that."
Crediting the coaching staff for putting in place the necessary tweaks and attention to detail during a productive pre-season which included a 42-17 victory away to European champions Leinster, Flood said: “Dean, Dave, Wellsy, Wardy and all the coaches here know that if we’re true to our own style of play and execute it really well, we’re going to hurt teams.
"It’s a very well-thought-out game plan and it’s there for a reason, but within that we’re also aware that the opposition will be spending that extra half an hour in their meetings looking at the real detail of what we’re doing.”
The full Toby Flood interview can be read in Sunday's official match programme. You can now pay for your programme electronically prior to matchday and take cash out of the equation by clicking here.